The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) visited the children who survived the Islamic State (ISIS) prison break in Syria’s northeastern city of Hassakeh.
“Children should never have been there in the first place,” UNICEF said in a statement following the visit.
The children (Cubs of the Caliphate), some as young as 12 years old, are children of the ISIS members who were killed or captured on battlefields, and who are imprisoned in special child wings in the Ghweran detention center in Hassakeh, along with thousands of other members.
The UNICEF team headed by Mr Bo Viktor Nylund, UNICEF representative in Syria, and Natasha Stojkovska, director of Qamishli-based UNICEF Office, checked the special child wings inside the prison and checked their situation.
The team was accompanied by some members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who illustrated to the UNICEF team the field situation of the prison and the consequences of the attack.
“UNICEF continues to call for the immediate release of children in the Ghweran prison and all detention centers across the northeast of Syria and for handing them over to child protection actors,” UNICEF‘s statement said.
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“We call on member states of foreign children to repatriate these children urgently, consistent with their best interests.
“UNICEF confirms it is ready to help support a new safe place in the northeast of Syria to take care of the most vulnerable children,” the statement added.
The SDF briefed the UNICEF team on the de facto situation of the Cubs of the Caliphate inside the detention center.
“Despite some of the basic services now in place, the situation of these children is incredibly precarious,” the UNICEF said.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.